Putin and the Intoxicating Nature of Power By Henry Kyambalesa

The Author, Henry Kyambalesa

Running a country can be likened to running in a relay race—one executive president or prime minister runs his or her portion of the race and hands the button to the next, and each one is expected to try very hard to steer the country to a better future.

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Some executive presidents and prime ministers, in this endeavour, contribute more, and some others contribute less.

In this regard, each and every country’s executive president or prime minister needs to possess leadership qualities that all national political leaders worldwide need to have in their arsenal of aptitudes.

Such qualities include emotional stability, humility, patriotism, selflessness, impartiality, patience, compassion, tolerance, diligence, respect for both national and international laws, ability to think of one’s leadership position as a temporary mandate to serve the people, ability to conceive of oneself as just another mortal with limited knowledge and aptitudes, ability to make compromises with people who have dissenting views, and an inclination to work hand in hand and hand in glove with other countries’ leaders in addressing pressing global issues and challenges.

However, some executive presidents and prime ministers—autocrats particularly—have tended to pursue causes that are unmistakably inimical to their countries, their fellow citizens, and peace-loving nations worldwide.

Examples of such reckless, egoistic, uncivilized, and good-for-nothing leaders abound—leaders who are oblivious to crippling economic sanctions, potential human carnage, the dictates of international law and order, and their own mortality.

They include the following:

(a)  Vladimir Putin, who recently sanctioned a military operation in Ukraine and launched a full-scale invasion of the country;

(b)  Alexander Lukashenko, who heads an authoritarian government in Belarus, and who has publicly referred to himself as “Europe’s last dictator”;

(c)  Saddam Hussein, who, among other atrocities, invaded Kuwait and proclaimed the country to be Iraq’s 19th province;

(d)  Adolf Hitler, who ordered German military forces to attack the Soviet Union in order to destroy the country and seize its natural resources for subsequent aggression against Western countries, and also murdered around 6 million Jews; and

(e)  Benito Mussolini, whose foreign policy was aimed at restoring the ancient and former Roman Empire by expanding Italy’s colonial possessions and the fascist sphere of influence.

These leaders, among many others, have displayed the worst diabolical, chilling and primitive instincts of Homo sapiens—or humankind, to use a more generic term.

Apparently, they could not suppress their primitive, savage and evil impulses, and, intoxicated by unfettered political power and backed by docile military officers, they could not guard themselves against committing heinous atrocities against humanity.

Diplomacy, dialogue, adherence to international law and order, and cooperative efforts in addressing global issues and challenges are unacceptable to such savages. And, unfortunately, there seem to be no obvious and viable ways and means of preventing them from actualizing their wicked impulses!